Even before the show I was very glad I entered Barnstaple, Hex had been cleared by the SMART Clinic to work again and I couldn't wait to have her back in the ring. She did a short training session at Medium height on Friday and one at Large on Saturday to prepare for Sunday. She was so happy to be allowed to play again!
In the exercise area Hex was wearing her 'show clothes' and air scenting for the rings (which were in the next field), she then towed Mum all the way to me! We made some silly mistakes in her first run but she was jumping tight, fast and accurate so I was very happy! In her Agility she had the first pole down but the rest of the run was smooth and faultless, she blasted around the Helter Skelter clear but wide in a couple of places finishing 11th and FLEW around the Collie Jumping, but took her own line 2 jumps from the end. I have my noisy red-head back! I am taking care to stretch and warm her up before runs and just hope that she can take care of herself in the ring!
Stitch won 3 out of his 4 classes and yes, the one we didn't win was the bloomin' agility!!! Argh! To be honest we didn't deserve his first win; it was the 4-7 Jumping and after preaching to my clients all week about telling your dog WHERE a tunnel is before telling them 'tunnel', I proceeded to just shout 'go weave' to Stitch without giving him the faintest idea where they were! Bad handler!
His agility he had the 3rd pole down, he did lovely contacts, but self released 2 of them so I put him back, his next 2 runs were blasty courses which he took full advantage of and throughly enjoyed himself. I had lots of lovely comments about how well we looked together which is great because I am feeling more like a team with him so it's nice to know it shows.
Since sharing my runs on YouTube I have had a couple of blind cross jokes made at my expense. So here it is - 'Hi, my name's Lesley and sometimes, just sometimes I do blind crosses!'. I do not recommend that you take your eyes off your dog, particularly when they are moving at speed, I think Blind Crosses are a LAST resort and should always have a clear, correct pick up (which I am aware I did not give Stitch, I thought he'd be longer in that tunnel!), but having weighed up the options with Stitch and having consulted with his previous handler, it was the only option I had with THAT dog on THAT course. With Hex I could have done a reverse turn/front cross, I had more time (which is how I walked it!), but I fell naturally into a blind cross having already done it with Stitch. It is my opinion that you should arm yourself with as many handling moves as possible so you are prepared for any situation, even if you only use them once in your life and for that reason I teach blind turns to my client's at A-SIT always telling them it is a LAST resort and cringing and instructing them when they do them at inappropriate times or without a correct and clear pick up on the new arm.
Moving on; it was a lovely friendly show with a fun relaxed atmosphere and a feeling of the way shows used to be and for that reason I recommend it... even though for a moment it looked like there would be no toilets, no tannoy and a muddy trek from the cars to the rings, but things (including the weather), sorted themselves out.
Stitch - 1st, 4-7 Jumping
Stitch - 1st, 1-7 Steeplechase
Stitch - 1st, 1-7 H/Skelter
Hex - 11th, 1-7 H/Skelter
Stu & Ru - 1st, G1-2 Agility, taking them up to Grade 2 at their first KC Show!
Alex & Sonny - Clear, 1-7 H/Skelter
Wendy & Ryley - 3rd, G3 Jumping
Mike & Rio - 1st, Senior Agility
Mike & Rio - 1st, Senior Jumping
Mike & Rio - 2nd, Senior Agility
Michelle & Whistler - Clear, Beginners Steeplechase